Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Republicans; enemies of the system

Last night there was a very interesting debate on the Daily Show between Jon Stewart and John Bolton. Basically, Stewart complained about the way Bush has surrounded himself with yes men and how he has made questionable appointments, like, say, making Bolton, who famously disdained the United Nations, the U.S. representative to the United Nations. And Bolton says that the real problem is people who don't go along with the president, such as bureaucrats who have their own agenda and don't work to fulfill the president's political agenda.

This is a good example of what is always abundantly clear about Republicans; they don't believe in the system. They are radicals. You could see it when they tried to get rid of the Filibuster; the Democrats saved it by essentially agreeing not to use it, because they didn't want to destroy part of our system of government. The Republicans were perfectly willing to toss it out, although of course they filibustered themselves when the Democrats wanted to debate Iraq.

The United States was set up by its founders in such a way that change can't happen too fast; you can't just come in and reshape the government in your image. This is why congressional terms are staggered, this is why Supreme Court justices are permanent and insulated from concerns about getting fired. The system is designed to promote stability; to keep some idiot with an utter conviction of certainty from shredding all our rights at once.

The bureaucrats Bolton disdains are a stabilizing force. While political appointees float in and out, and are often unqualified and unknowledgeable, bureaucrats are experienced and understand the way things work. Yes, they can be intractable and get in the way of change, and that can be a problem, but it is more often for the best. You might think it's great to have a car that can go 400 miles an hour, but if you think you can drive that fast without an accident and you're wrong then you're a pancake. The problem with Republicans is they really believe they can drive 400 miles an hour, tearing down the freeway, rewriting the constitution, reshaping the world, and they hate the checks and balances speed limits.

What's amazing about Republicans is even though they can see, as much as they can see anything, that much of what has been done by Bush has been disastrous, they still hate curbs on their actions, and seem to truly believe that if everyone would just get out of their way they could create something perfect.

Republicans are, underneath it all, revolutionaries and anarchists, and that's what makes them so dangerous, and allows them to do so much damage even within a system designed with checks and balances.

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